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Today, Tomorrow and Beyond, not Yesterday

On China Today, one of the columns on this site, I've been exploring the history, the scope, the current affairs and any possible solutions to the present tensions on the East and China Seas. However, I'm compel to bring this topic to this blog because of an article last Friday in the China Daily Newspaper under the headline "China urges US to respect history". This headline, responding to the visit of US Secretary of State, John Kerry, to Beijing, caught my attention because it is one of hundreds of banners Beijing has been flaunting recently in respect to territorial disputes on the South and East China Seas: that the whole world should conform to China's and only China's version of history in respect to Japan and other lands and ownership of islands on the seas. Enough is enough. China has to be made aware that although they might have a longer written history than many others, we in the West, understand and are well aware of lessons from history. Beijing's jokes about the West having a brief history, does not make Chinese history any more important. In fact, the version of history that China is asking all of us to really understand and to accept their version, refers to the 1937 Sino-Japanese war during which Japan committed unspeakable atrocities against both Chinese and Korean people. That is a fact. Japan surrendered after two atomic bomb drops on its cities. The country has apologized, just as Germany has, for the wrongs of the past. But China, with its new found wealth, and a widening sphere of influence, appears adamant to isolate Japan today and to get the whole world to follow China's lead in this respect despite US security treaties with allies in Asia. China would love to see the US withdraw US treaties with Japan in support of Beijing's modern day punishment to the Japanese for the slaughter of some 350,000 Chinese in the Nanking Massacre during the Second Sino-Japanese war and Japanese force prostitution of some 200,000 Chinese and Korean women. These were horrendous crimes. They can never be forgotten. But like the travesty of slavery upon African people in the West, the experience of the Jewish people, the starvation of the Irish and the slaughter of Kurds and Armenians; millions of the world's people have been inflicted with a painful history. In civil  modern society, we atone, we respect and we cherish today, we look forward to tomorrow and beyond and to the further development of the human spirit. With respect to yesterday, we learned the lessons to ensure they will never be repeated; but to dwell upon yesterday would consume the World in perpetual violence and instability. Thus, like all surviving peoples, the Chinese should move on. Also in respect to the ownership of all the resource rich islands of the East and China Seas, we have International law, not Chinese law nor any nine-dash line map to decide all claims.